You couldn’t make this stuff up. In a recent note to his members Accord’s General Secretary criticised this year’s pay deal. He said: “…Accord members have already been impacted by a pay review for 2021 that’s now below inflation”. That’s the same General Secretary who recommended that his members vote for the deal which he’d negotiated. And it gets worse. Accord then say: “Accord signed an agreement to implement the proposals with effect from 1 April but, with rising inflation reported since then (the Consumer Price Index at 2.1% for April reported on 16 June), virtually everybody in LBG will experience a fall in the real value of their salaries this year.”
But what he doesn’t say, whilst trying to maintain the pretence that Accord fights for its members, is that it’s much worse than that. The Retail Price Index, which takes into account the cost of housing (who doesn’t pay for somewhere to live?) and is used by unions when negotiating pay increases, is currently running at 3.3%. That means everyone in Lloyds Banking Group is worse off as a result of Accord’s agreement with Lloyds.
And lest we forget. Members will recall that Lloyds actually thanked Accord and Unite “for their constructive approach” to this year’s pay negotiations. I bet they did. The bank’s negotiating team must have been laughing their heads off when Accord and Unite left the building although given their support for Accord they would have expected nothing more, or less.
Merging ‘Uppers’ and ‘Lowers’
Whilst it’s true that “there’s no changes to pay or benefits for anyone involved”, to quote Matt Sinnott, People and Property Director, that’s not quite the full story. Many staff will have moved further away from the market rate for the job as a result of the changes introduced by the bank.
In its Q&A note to staff, the bank says: “People who were at DL/EL grades will now have the same pay-range maximum as others at grades D and E resulting in greater headroom”. To put that statement in its simplest form, a member at grade D ‘lower’ who’s dropped back into the ‘primary’ zone will now take 25 years to get to the market rate for the job, compared to 11 years under the current system. And let’s not forget, the so-called headroom is a mirage. The difference in salary increases between someone in the ‘primary’ zone and ‘market’ zone was worth just 0.25% this year. That’s nothing in salary terms.
The bank’s pay system is so broken that newly promoted members of staff will be positioned to 90% of the mid-point of the new broad pay band. So, not only will some people be going backwards relative to their mid-point, but they will be leap frogged by new members of staff. It’s blatantly unfair and the bank needs to do something about that, rather rely on any more conjuring tricks!
Members with any questions on this Newsletter can contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (Chose Option 1).